Teenager gets four years for Woolwich riot pub fire

By Simon Hayes on December 2, 2011 5:05 PM |

woolwich.jpgA teenage arsonist has been sentenced to four years in prison for setting fire to a Woolwich pub during the August riots.

The 16-year-old, from Abbey Wood, cannot be named for legal reasons. He was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court today after pleading guilty to setting fire to the Great Harry pub in Wellington Street on August 8.

He had been identified on CCTV footage, which showed him breaking a piece of wood from a pallet in General Gordon Square, wrapping some material around it and turning it into a torch using a fire already started nearby.

He then walked into the Great Harry pub with his torch but walked out without it. The pub was subsequently engulfed in flames. The fire caused £3.5 million worth of damage.

harry.jpgActing Sgt Mark Gilchrist said; "The damage left the local community in Woolwich filled with dismay by the level of vandalism and disorder that took place that night. It is needless to say that the teenager's action could have cost someone's life. It was pure luck that nobody died in that fire."

At his hearing in September the teenager also admitted violent disorder and burglary of the Money Shop in Woolwich but denied arson with intent to endanger life.

Greenwich Borough Commander Richard Wood said: "I am extremely pleased with the result of the investigation. I hope that the public in Woolwich will feel that justice has been served."